reduce waste

I do not own a single mason jar.

My counter tops aren’t stripped bare; I don’t have a cupboard full of matching glass containers with chalkboard paint labels, or wooden scrubbing brushes, or bamboo travel utensils, or matching produce bags/tea towels made from organic cotton. 
Phew. That feels good.
Go ahead, take a moment to view me as some kind of zero waste fraud, I’ll wait for you. 

OK? On we march.

You see my version of reduced waste doesn’t mean buying a tonne of new stuff. That really defeats the object for me. If there’s something we need then yes I’ll buy it but nine times out of ten, we already have something that will do the job (or can certainly buy it preloved)

Zero waste can seem so stylised, all those lovely instagram photos of bright, clean, softly lit counter tops with a single white linen cloth and a smoothie/coffee/ice cream/berries in the obligatory mason jar. They are lovely to look at but make reducing waste look expensive and unattainable. 

Don’t get me wrong, they are beautiful photos, I wish I had even one space in my house that was this “photo ready” even once a week but, the reality is; I have a toddler, and I’m not rocking the kind of disposable income that can support that kind of zero waste lifestyle.

I suppose on the zero waste spectrum I fall firmly into frugal side of things, I rarely buy new, I do not buy single task objects and I love to make do and mend. Reducing household waste was an absolute by-product of my frugality; it began with CSP, kitchen towels, handkerchiefs and bar soap. I do it to save money, manage a budget and  then to reduce my impact on the planet.

My jars are all repurposed (jam, pickle, peanut butter) my dishcloths are all upcycled (t-shirts, towels) and my kitchen towels are all mismatched and variously stained. The cutlery I take out with me if the same stuff I take camping and I have one stainless steel water bottle for daily use.

So for those thinking that reduced waste comes with all kinds of requirements and hefty price tag, take comfort in knowing that you can just stop buying stuff and achieve the same goal. I guarantee you already have what you need to get by.

No mason jar required.


8 thoughts on “I do not own a single mason jar.

  1. Totally agree, although I do own 3 Mason jars Ha Ha. I bought them recently and then suddenly realised that I could just RE use jam jars, sauce jars etc, for some reason it only occurred to me after I bought the Mason jars! You have definitely inspired me to reduce my waste as much as possible, I’m quite proud of myself as since we started really trying to reduce waste we now only produce about one bin bags worth a week, and previously our rubbish bin was overflowing come collection day! And it’s easier than I thought it would be!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Haha, when I first starting reading about other people doing this stuff I went out and bought a 4-pack of mason jars from the supermarket. And it’s true that they’ve gotten much use, but it took a while before I realized that I was throwing a spaghetti sauce jar in the recycling bin each week! Pretty silly. I do still occasionally find a large mason jar I like at the thrift store since I find myself running out of containers sometimes and I now make my own spaghetti sauce. But that’s a fairly rare occasion. Thanks for spreading the good word!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I just bought a mason jar and a glass bottle a few days back, but then again I needed a glass thing to store my stuff. But I completely agree, it’s sort of pressurising having pretty things that all match, but I just threw it all to the wind, and started posting pictures of my place exactly as it looks. A person lives there, y’know.


  4. Well said! I have followed a similar path, falling into it from being frugal. Starting with cloth nappies 14 months ago.
    I do have mason jars for things like flour, icing sugar etc simply because it’s tidier and I can fit more in my cupboards that way. Otherwise I reuse my jam jars for anything else.
    Don’t get me wrong one day I would love to have my kitchen looking like one of those pictures, but it will be a slow process buying bits at a time which will obviously lead to nothing matching anyway 😂

    Liked by 1 person

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